Summary: In the Old Testament, God instructed His people to completely destroy their enemies. But now we are living in the day of grace. In the sermon today we will see that Jesus came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

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Love is a great motivator of people. It is also what motivates so much of what God does for us. John 3:16 clearly tells us and teaches us For God so loved the world… Why did He give His only begotten Son? Because He so loved. But there are other things that motivate mankind. Things like bitterness, jealousy and anger. We carry malice and greed around in our hearts towards others and they motivate us to say and do things that we would never do if we loved them. What causes this hatred, this bitterness this malice within us? Differences. Differences of opinion. Differences in skin color. Differences in nationality. Differences in religion. There was a time in the Old Testament when God taught His people to be this way. God clearly instructed His people when they went to war that they were to totally annihilate the enemy. They were to kill the men, the women, the children, the livestock and then to burn and destroy all of their possessions. In fact, we all remember the problem at Ai. Akin took some things that were supposed to be left behind and God punished him. There were laws on the books such as if a child was caught be rebellious to his parents he was to be taken outside and stoned. This was the law of the land as God set about to purify his people. God set about to show man what sin what and what it’s effects were and ultimately how man would fall short of what God required.

But particularly as it pertained to non-Jews, Gentiles, heathens annihilation was the name of the game. Take no prisoners. Now with that in mind let’s read a story in Luke 9:51-56.

The story begins with a mile marker in Jesus’ ministry. I want you to understand that God has a timetable. A perfect plan for His world and in this story His Son is on that timetable. Jesus has been in Galilee. Here He has taught and healed the people. He has taught His disciples many things. Not only has He been preaching and healing and teaching but He has been preparing Himself as well. As a man, it took preparations for Him to ready Himself for what lay ahead. But the time has come. It is time for Him to depart for Jerusalem and all that will happen to Him there. He will not go directly there but will fulfill all that the Father has planned for Him enroute to Jerusalem.

Now as we see that He has an appointment to keep in Jerusalem I want us to notice something else. The Bible says He steadfastly set His face. In these words I can see the intensity of Jesus change. There is now a growing urgency in His actions. From this time forth He will not be sidetracked from His destination. He will still heal, He will still forgive, He will still touch lives along the way but there is a determination about Him as He looks towards the city of Jerusalem. I can’t help but wonder if we shouldn’t try to draw some parallels between our lives and that of Jesus here. Do we have urgency in what we are doing? Is there a defined purpose in what we do? Are we sure of our calling? Is there steadfastness in us? It is not that Jesus neglected His friends, it is not that He ignored the needs of those who would come to Him from this point forward. But He steadfastly set His face on Jerusalem from this point forward.

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